Drinking coffee is linked to lower suicide rates, suggests a study published inThe World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) reviewed data from three large US studies. This consisted of 43,599 men involved in the Health Professionals Follow-up study (HPFS), 73,820 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and 91,005 women in the NHS II.
The researchers analyzed data regarding consumption of caffeine, coffee and decaffeinated coffee every 4 years through food-frequency questionnaires, while the deaths from suicide were analyzed by physician review of death certificates.
The amount of caffeine consumption was assessed from both coffee and non-coffee sources, including chocolate, tea and caffeinated soft drinks. But the researchers add that coffee was the main source, accounting for a minimum of 71% in all three studies.
Over the study period, 277 deaths were a result of suicide.
Results revealed that the risk of suicide for adults who drank between 2-4 cups of coffee each day was 50% lower when compared with adults who drank decaffeinated coffee, very little or no coffee.
The researchers reported that there were no major differences in the risk of suicide between those who consumed 2-3 cups of coffee per day and those who drank 4 or more cups per day, but they note that this may be due to a smaller number of suicides in these categories.